Over time this very story has unfolded for me again and again in my work in private practice. Culturally we deny death and refuse to consider and perhaps prepare for it’s inevitable face. Thus, when the moment of death comes to our loved one there is so much trauma and malevolent surprise encoded in the experience that FIRST we must come to terms with those feelings - we must realize this is how it is written. We must acknowledge the entire arc of life, finally. Then we grieve.
Or, the whole thing gets wrapped up in an impossible pile together and it must be sorted piece by piece. Grief and death are organic, they are part of the plan. Always have been, always will be.
I disagree with his phrase that grief will let go - I believe the surprise of death let’s go over time, but that grieving remains a constantly changing process in our lives once we have watched our loved one die.
(Originally posted -6/02/18)